Sections

Clarett Group closure makes Court Street site a hole lot of nothing

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

A cavernous Carroll Gardens development site is in purgatory — and neighbors are mad as hell.

It’s already been years since The Collection at Court Street was unveiled, but the future of the seven-story condo and 11 townhouses is in doubt now that The Clarett Group has shuttered its New York office.

Residents said they continue to be dismayed by the project, whose great blue wall of fencing “is terrible, a blight, and a waste of space,” said Julie Hurwitz, speaking for many neighbors.

On Friday, someone had defaced a sign reading, “Another fine Clarett Group Development” so that it read, “Another fine disaster.”

But those familiar with the project said that a property this large will not simply be abandoned, and that Clarett’s partner, Prudential Real Estate Investors, would see the project through.

“Prudential will get another partner,” the person said. “But Clarett still has some skin in the game.”

Calls to Clarett’s offices in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. were not returned.

But Prudential spokesman John Chartier said that the company “remains committed to fulfilling its obligations related to 340 Court St. [and is] evaluating several options that will allow the project to proceed in a way that benefits the community and our investors.”

Clarett abruptly closed its Manhattan office last week, after founder Veronica Hackett left to work for commercial developer Brookfield Office Properties, according to The Real Deal.

Staff has been leaving the company for the past few months, and in January, the remaining workers were either fired or quit, according to the magazine, which said that an inability to line up financing for new projects catalyzed a gradual implosion.

Residents weren’t surprised that the project is in jeopardy.

“When they knocked down the buildings there, times were good, and we didn’t know we were in a recession,” said Debra Laks, a longtime Union Street resident.

“But that all came to a grinding halt and now we’re stuck with a huge hole in the ground.”

She said the hope is that someone comes along to develop the site “hopefully, into something decent.”

Neighbors said the project helped give momentum to a rezoning effort to prevent out-of-scale development — even though the project’s size conformed to the zoning before and after the change became law in 2009.

The project’s foundation has been poured, but little else has happened at the stalled site since project renderings — criticized for their sleek design — were revealed in 2008.

Long Island College Hospital sold the massive property in 2007 for $23.75 million, a huge sum paid just before the borough’s real-estate boom went bust.

The Clarett Group leaves Brooklyn with Forte Tower on Ashland Place in Fort Greene, and the borough’s tallest building, The Brooklyner, a 51-story skyscraper located on Lawrence Street in Downtown.

Updated 1:38 pm, March 16, 2011: Now includes a quotation from Prudential.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Don’t miss out!

Stay in touch with the stories people are talking about in your neighborhood:

Optional: Help us tailor our newsletters to you!